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Have a Patience Problem? Here's a Solution

In a stressful startup environment, patience is key. The findings from a new study may offer insight on how to cultivate more of the virtue.
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Gratefulness and patience don't always come easily--especially in the tough, early days of a startup. However, recent research suggests that one trait might naturally boost the other, which is something you can use to your benefit the next time you're feeling antsy.

According to a blog post on the Association for Psychological Science website, adopting a grateful attitude could be a tool for practicing patience. A forthcoming study, which will appear in the journal Psychological Science, looked at the impact that gratitude and happiness have on an individual's propensity to wait for an outcome. 

Researchers from Harvard University, University of California at Riverside, and Northeastern University divided volunteers into three groups. They asked one group to journal about an event that had made them feel happy or content. Another wrote about a time that had made them feel grateful. And a control group was told to write about a typical day. 

Then the participants answered a series of questions designed to assess their level of patience. They were asked if they would take a certain amount of money now, or a greater amount of money later.

As it turns out, feelings of happiness didn't prove to have much of an effect on patience, the results revealed. But compared with those in the other two groups, volunteers who wrote about gratitude were much more likely to say that they'd wait for a larger future payday.  

So the next time you find yourself anxiety-filled, waiting for a brighter future to hurry up and get here, take a breather. Meditate, journal, say a prayer. Do whatever you need to do to channel a grateful attitude, and the patience part just might follow. 

Last updated: Mar 12, 2014

LAURA MONTINI | Staff Writer

Laura Montini is a reporter at Inc. She previously covered health care technology for Health 2.0 News and has served as an associate editor at The Health Care Blog. She lives in San Francisco.




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